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Modern Family Wiki

"The Late Show" is the fifth episode from Season 5 of Modern Family, it aired on October 16, 2013.

Plot Summary

Jay has made reservations for the whole family at a new restaurant that he has waited to go to for months. However, everyone seems to be running late: Gloria takes forever to get ready, Claire becomes paranoid about letting Luke stay home alone and Cam and Mitch fight after they both wear the same outfit. Elsewhere, Alex babysits Lily; and Haley spends the night with Manny and Joe.

Episode Description

Jay, Mitchell, and Phil were all waiting for their significant others. It took Jay six weeks to get a reservation at this very upscale restaurant where he was going to enjoy some Australian barley-and-wine-fed beef (leaving the kids to wonder if the cow got drunk and if tequila would work faster). Phil even bought a new uber-tight suit to wear because a hipster store clerk said that was the fashion. Haley was actually impressed.

PHIL: Stick around if you want to see your mom's tongue fall out of her mouth.

HALEY: Not unless you want to see my lunch fall out of mine.

As for the kids, Haley would babysit Joe with Manny, even knowing the best way to get him to sleep is rock him back and forth to Gladys Knight & the Pips. Alex was off to babysit Lily, and Luke...well, he would get to stay home by himself, much to the surprise of Claire, who didn't think he was old enough to be left on his own. And Luke thinking the smoke alarm was the doorbell was her first clue.

While Mitchell and Cameron fought over wearing the same shirt and jacket (they had similar ones, they weren't fighting over the EXACT same one), Jay tried his best not to get mad at Gloria for being ridiculously late from the salon and then having to change. To her credit, the dress Jay got her at the store while he was at work (his credit card did) was well worth it. Or maybe it was the scotch Jay downed to calm his frayed nerves while he was waiting. Cameron successfully "guilted" Mitchell into changing, but then Mitch got a water from the refrigerator for the ride and got Cam a soda. A soda that exploded all over his jacket and forced him to change out of it. Cam naturally thought Mitchell shook the can up on purpose. And Lily and Alex were getting tired of playing judge, first to who looked better in the jacket and then whether or not Mitchell shook the can of soda. Of course, Lily was getting it twice as bad because she wanted Alex to play with her dolls and Alex wanted to read Lily Little Women.

Claire made Phil and her late with her incessant line of instructions to Luke, particularly about the difference between a doorbell and a smoke alarm, but also not to order a pizza because all delivery drivers are ex-cons. Her paranoia seemed to work fine, because she called on the way to the restaurant and got no response, so she turned the car around and flew back home, only to get both barrels of Luke's paint gun when he was scared it was the pizza delivery man.

Jay finally broke down and yelled at Gloria for being late. They get to the restaurant and were the first ones there. Of course, since this is a sitcom, they couldn't be seated until their entire party arrived. Which they finally did, and Gloria had to make an "entrance" each time people arrived so they would compliment her on how she looked. They got ready to go to the table, and then Cameron walked out. He and Mitchell took a long time but finally settled their argument, which really started when Cameron was doing too much of the decision-making when it came to the details of their wedding. They go back in and now it was time for Phil to walk out because Claire badgered him left and right about Luke. (They dropped him off with Haley and Manny, who did a great Gladys Knight & the Pips to get Joe asleep). Phil was upset that Claire never even noticed the sharp suit he bought just for her and she apologized for it, saying he looked hot.

Now that everything was settled, it was time to eat. Except the hostess gave away their table and wasn't the least bit sorry about it. Gloria gave her both barrels because she wanted Jay to have his night at the restaurant...and proceeded to get all of them kicked out. Was Jay mad? Not really. Because had it not been for Gloria getting them booted, he wouldn't have had the best meal of his a taco truck right across the street. Everybody was in a jovial mood, they had tacos, a lot of drinks, and Phil's suit finally gave out on him.

JAY: I don't know if it was the six scotches I drank waiting for everybody or the fact I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast or the moment Phil's suit finally gave up. They even played my favorite song (Midnight Train to Georgia)...the train I'd never make unless I told Gloria it left at 11.

By the way, Cam got Mitchell to admit he did shake up the soda can.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring


  • Luke mentions the time the cabinet fell on him ("Earthquake").
  • This episode aired exactly 6 years before Pool Party


  • Phil reveals that his favorite child is Luke.
  • Jay's favorite song is "Midnight Train to Georgia".


  • Fionia couldn't have given away the table as the entire party had arrived.

Cultural References

  • The episode title may reference the Late Show with David Letterman.
  • Phil and Luke watch The Walking Dead together.
  • Jay references The Far Side.
  • Alex wants to read Little Women to Lily.
  • Cam corrects Lily for misquoting All About Eve (the correct quote is "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!").
  • Jay used to play Gladys Knight records when he babysat the kids.
  • Phil says the guy at the clothes store looked like "a Mumford and Son".
  • Phil calls Claire "Flo-Jo".
  • Mitch calls Cam "Nancy Grace".
  • At the end of the episode, Jay, Gloria, Claire, Phil, Mitchell and Cameron sing "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips.